THIS WEEK IN REFLECTION
Do you see that? Sunday Lowdown #200! That’s 200 Sundays you and I have spent together. The first Lowdown appeared back when I was reading all the Valdemar books. Actually, there is a new Valdemar book this year that I need to get my hands on, so I just paused what I was typing now, got on the library site, and put it on hold. What can I say, I like to get rid of mental sticky notes as fast as possible.
Have you noticed weird spam on your WordPress blog lately? I had a comment by Asphyxia and one by Bill go straight to the spam jail, where I found that most of the comments were either disturbing porn and weird-looking links, or they were something like, “I enjoyed this post and book marked your site!” Which . . . sounds pretty normal to me. But I can see the hyperlink in the username is incredibly spammy. So, look out for what you approve when it comes to new comments! Most of the spam comments on are my Dietland review. And what did that book ever do to anyone?? (Other than convince me to quit wearing makeup and be happy and try to overthrow the patriarchy). Now they are on specifically one Meet the Writer interview, for Barb Taub, to whom I have not written in many years. Maybe her blog got hacked?
I’m on the last week of classes before final exams. Largely, I’m trying to catch up on reading for interpreting ethics, and there are two videos about power, privilege, and oppression that I still need to see. I’ve been thinking more about who an interpreter should align herself with: the Deaf consumer, the hearing consumer, the entity that hired her, the agency, or herself. While my “duh” answer was the Deaf consumer, because they are the most powerless person (meaning more likely to face oppression and discrimination) in the situation, but it’s not so easy as all that.
I’m also doing research on mental health and volunteer firefighters in the U.S. compared to career firefighters. This is my topic for my ASL final, so it must all be signed. I’m discovering some scary facts, such as just how many firefighting units are completely volunteer run because the community is too small to financially support hiring anyone. Also, just how firefighting affects volunteer and career people differently, for a host of reasons. I’ll research this more next week during finals, when there is no regular class held, and give you more info in Sunday Lowdown #201. This topic was inspired by my father-in-law, who was a volunteer firefighter in a tiny town on the coast of a Great Lake, and as a result, he was often on the water rescue team. If you live near a Great Lake, you know that pretty much no one is rescued, they are recovered. In the last couple of years, suddenly his PTSD is much worse, and I want to know more about it so I can be appropriately supportive.
On Tuesday it was just warm enough that I dared to ride my bicycle. Careening down the road, listening to Selected Writings and Speeches of Marcus Garvey, I was just irritated. Garvey, for those who don’t know, was a Jamaican man who came to the States and started the United Negro Improvement Association. He also campaigned to raise funds to build a ship that would sail African Americans back to Africa. Anyway, the audiobook narrator sounds like a tech person took old radio recordings of the now deceased Casey Kasem, put them through an AI software thingy, and had it “read” Marcus Garvey’s speeches. You can imagine how startling the sound is. Like, I’m feeling excited for the Top 40 Hits, but I’m also lacking the passion characteristic of anyone with a pulse. It’s the uncanny, is what it is. Like Mark Zuckerberg’s face.
THIS WEEK’S BLOG POST
It’s soft, it’s floofy, it’s emotionally low stakes. Truly, the Bottom Dollar trilogy by Karin Gillespie is great for a road trip. Anyone in the car will laugh, but you could also let your attention drift and come back to it, too. Don’t forget that Gillespie has some novels that aren’t hefty, but do lead to dialogue, including Love Literary Style.
NEXT WEEK’S BLOG POST
Look at that huge Stephen Graham Jones quote on the cover of Reluctant Immortals by Gwendolyn Kiste. I’ve met Graham Jones in person and during an online reading, both through my old college. While he’s a lovely man, and I appreciate his horror fanaticism, I don’t get on with his books, and I don’t agree with his blurb, which suggests Kiste’s novel has some insane scares or some deep message. In a way, it reads more like satire. Check out the review Wednesday.
BOOKS ADDED TO THE TBR PILE
Owned Books on TBR at Beginning of Year: 202
Owned Books on TBR Last Week: 186
Owned Books on TBR Today: 184
Thanks to Bill for bringing Davidson’s novel to my attention.